Day 2: w3 and M4 Roundup

Norway, like Sweden, remain unbeaten with a record of 4-0 Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

After three sessions of round-robin play, Russia stand alone unbeaten at the top of the women’s rankings in Le Gruyere European Curling Championships 2012, being staged in Karlstad, Sweden.

In their Sunday afternoon session they faced Denmark who had also previously been unbeaten. They made short work of the Danes in this session however, beating them by 8-2 in just six ends, including a delicate draw-shot by skip, Anna Sidorova, to score the four points in the sixth end that sealed their win.

After her latest victory, Sidorova said: "For me personally I am a bit more confident as a player than last year. As a team, we have a new coach and we play more offensively now, and we feel a bit more confident. We've been preparing for these Championships for a long time and now we're trying to make our way forward."

Reigning world champions, Switzerland, recovered from an earlier loss by beating Italy 10-4 in eight ends. Skip Mirjam Ott recovered her form for this game, scoring two points with a take-out in the fourth end. She delivered a similar blow with another take-out for two points in the eighth end, at which point Italy offered to shake hands and concede the game.

This win for Switzerland puts them on a won two, lost one record, the same as Sweden who beat Germany 6-4. The Swedes opened the scoring with a single point by fourth player Maria Prytz in the second end.

In the third end, an attempted draw-shot by German skip, Andrea Schopp, was long, handing Sweden a steal of three points and a lead of 4-0. Eventually, when Schopp could not remove two Swedish stones in the tenth end, the Swedes won, while Germany remain without a victory in this Championship.

This was Sweden's second win of the day and afterwards, second player, Mary Wennerstrom, said: “It was a very good day at work today. I thought we played very safe from the outset. We are now beginning to judge the ice better, which creates a sense of control and security for us, which helped us today.”

Finland, without a win, faced defending champions Scotland, who are also on a 2-1 record. Scottish skip, Eve Muirhead, scored two four pointers on their way to an 11-5 win, including a hit for four points in the eighth end that persuaded the Finns to concede. Afterwards Muirhead said: "It was one of those games that you could slip up on. We controlled the game - it wasn't the most solid performance but we did what we needed to do."

The fifth game of the session was between the Czech Republic and Hungary. The Czechs won by 8-5 and they can thank the nerveless play of their skip, Linda Klimova, for this as. With five counting Hungarian stones lying in the house, Klimova faced the prospect of disaster if she got her final draw shot wrong. But she calmly rolled her own inside them all to take the score to 7-5 and keep her team in the game and on course for their victory.

Women's standings (after 3 sessions):
Russia 3-0
Switzerland 2-1
Sweden 2-1
Denmark 2-1
Scotland 2-1
Czech Republic 2-1
Italy 1-2
Hungary 1-2
Germany 0-3
Finland 0-3

In the men's fourth session of play, three games finished in just six ends. Unbeaten Sweden made short work of their game against the Czech Republic, taking three points in the third end and four points in the fifth end on their way to an 8-2 victory, completed in just six ends.

Afterwards, Swedish skip Niklas Edin, said: "It was a good solid game from our side, but we got some lucky breaks. We did well to get the three ender and the blank attempt when it flashed for him – that was pretty much the game. We’re taking every game at a time, we’re at 4-0 and looking pretty good now so we just have to look ahead and play every game as well as we can.”

Denmark recovered from their earlier loss to hand out a 9-1 beating to Scotland, while the third six-end win was for Russia, who beat Germany 8-1.

In the fifth end of the Denmark - Scotland game, Danish skip, Rasmus Stjerne, drew for one point and a 4-1 lead. However, in the sixth end Scottish skip Tom Brewster was heavy with his draw attempt to hand Denmark a steal of five and a 9-1 lead, after which he conceded the game.

After this win Stjjerne said: "We had a really bad game this morning. We struggled a lot with the ice, so that was a good one for us. We had a good chat after the previous game and we took away all the bad things and tried to be more positive in the team. It's very crowded on the table, so you know every win counts."

In the one-sided encounter between Russia and Germany, Russian skip Andrey Drozdov hit for two points in the third end to take a 2-1 lead and start a run of four ends of scoring for his team. This left Germany to concede with the score at 8-1 to the Russians.

Defending champions Norway also finished early, beating Hungary by 9-3 in seven ends, completing their win with four points in the seventh end. Afterwards, skip Thomas Ulsrud said: "This evening was better, the players played really well and left me with some easy shots. I’m really happy with the way we are playing and we need to keep that going."

The game between France and Switzerland was the last to finish, and in the seventh end Swiss skip Sven Michel drew to score two points and take the score to 5-2. Switzerland went on to win 6-3 after nine ends.

Men's standings (after 4 sessions):
Norway 4-0
Sweden 4-0
Denmark 3-1
Czech Republic 3-1
Russia 2-2
Switzerland 2-2
France 1-3
Scotland 1-3
Hungary 0-4
Germany 0-4

Extensive televised coverage of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2012 can be seen by viewers in Europe on Eurosport and in Sweden on TV4. Additional live coverage will be available via the internet on the Eurosport Player for fans in Europe and, for the first time, coverage will also be available on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV for viewers outside of the Eurosport TV/Player European Territory. Complete coverage details can be seen here:

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